Yesterday nine years' ago, on the morning of his birth, the good folk of Ealing were woken from their sleep by a huge explosion at the Buncefield oil storage depot down the road in Hemel Hempstead. They say that the explosion was heard clearly by people in Belgium and France. It made a phenomenal noise. I remember it very clearly: I was in the maternity ward in Ealing hospital, feeling the onset of my labour pains. I was with a group of other expectant mums and we were all curious to know what had happened, but none of us had too much emotional energy to spare on fretting about who might have been affected, or what might have happened. Sirens wailed, and a nice nurse told us there had been an explosion. I remember lying there thinking that my baby and I should at least be safe in the hospital. Even in the darkest days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland the people with bombs hadn't blown up the hospitals.
Then twelve hours' later my little bundle of joy arrived, and I knew immediately that my world had just become a better place. I have never done drugs, but I don't think any chemical stimulant could ever compete with the high, that feeling of complete and utter elation that followed the birth of my first and only child. All the pain of the delivery ward was forgotten in an instant, and the only thing that I could think about was this precious new life that I held in my arms.
Yesterday was also Emi's last day of school. They ended at midday with a final assembly at which everyone sang Christmas carols and cheered like crazy kids about the House Cup (an unprecedented three-way draw).
After a birthday lunch we went for a walk in Walpole Park, our local park here in Ealing. It was freezing, and I do mean proper Siberian wind-chilled freezing. A weak sun hung at an awkward angle in the sky blinding everyone who walked into it.
It was bleak. There weren't many people there who didn't need to be there. Lots of folk cut through the park to get from one part of Ealing to another. It's a bit of a thoroughfare. I often walk through it with the Wonder Dog when I'm picking Emi up from school. A bit of green space is always a welcome change from the bustling streets.
We saw this lady (photo below) struggling home with her dog, her bike and her newly-purchased Christmas tree. I hope she had a lovely time decorating it at home in the warm embrace of a blazing fire.
In the evening Emi had an invitation to another party, and today he's been invited out to lunch by his Tiá Jenny. Jenny is one of my dearest and closest friends, who's an honorary auntie. She's taking him into town for a proper grown-up lunch, and then they're going to see the Christmas lights. He's loving the importance of having a lunch-date!
All the best for a lovely weekend,
As shared on Friday Finds